Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


March 3, 2013

Letters to the Editor: March 3, 2013



Licensing beauty pros ensures public safety

Chemical cuts, chemical burns, infectious diseases, lice, fungal infections and hepatitis B or C. These could happen to you if your barber, cosmetologist, esthetician or manicurist were an uneducated and unregulated quasi-professional.

At the request of Gov. Pence’s office, Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, introduced Senate Bill 520 in this 2013 legislative session. SB 520 was presented to the Senate committee on commerce, economic development and technology to create the eliminate, reduce, and streamline employee regulation (ERASER) committee. This committee would be required to “review and evaluate” initially 38 professional licenses. After passing out of committee and before reaching the full Senate, 25 of those professions were deleted — beauty culture not being one of them.

What this means, according to the bill’s latest printing, is the beauty culture industry could cease to exist — eliminating regulation or the need to have licenses. This will happen July 1, 2017, if the 2017 session of the General Assembly fails to take action.

SB 520 passed out of the Senate and is headed for the House commerce committee on government reduction, chaired by Rep. Steven Stemler.

As with other professionals wanting less regulation, the beauty culture professionals I have spoken to desire regulation. More than half the states require some form of continuing education. I believe the general public, who has put their trust in these professionals, would want the same.

Rep. Kevin Mahan, the House sponsor of the bill, says he thinks licensing of all industries must be examined, according to an Indianapolis Star article. Why then were 25 of the 38 professions deleted from the original bill?

I attended the Senate committee hearing on the original bill and witnessed a representative from the governor’s office say that Gov. Pence campaigned on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” And that “regulation is a barrier to employment.” I testified that jobs are very important, but the No. 1 priority should be “safety, safety, safety.”  

Additionally, there are in excess of 63,000 licensed beauty culture professionals in Indiana who brought in, according to the Indiana Handbook of Taxes, Revenues, and Appropriations, nearly $1 million dollars to the general fund in 2012. Funding appears not to be an issue here.  

Next time you go to get your hair cut, colored or styled, your new or existing nails painted, trimmed or polished, do you want someone who is trained, licensed and keeps up on the new trends and styles?

Call your senator and representative and voice your opposition to SB 520. If anything, ask that the reference to the beauty culture profession be deleted from Senate Bill 520.

Clee R. Oliver, Kokomo


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